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Wind batters cherry crop in Washington

September 19, 2019 | lpjxbyhj | No Comments

first_imgYAKIMA — Wind is damaging Washington’s cherry crop, but how much is not yet known.“Some say significant, but we won’t know until it runs over the line,” said B.J. Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherry Growers in Yakima, referring to when wind-damaged fruit reaches packing lines.Before winds reaching 35 mph hit the area on Wednesday, up to 90 percent of cherries were being packed, which is an excellent rate, Thurlby told the Capital Press.That percentage will probably drop.Wind bangs cherries around, bruising them as they hit or rub branches, leaves and other cherries. The riper the fruit, the more susceptible to damage they are. Rainiers bruise more easily than dark cherries.A lighter crop helps in some areas because clusters aren’t so tight, putting cherries in constant contact with each other.Charles Lyall, a grower in Mattawa, east and a little north of Yakima, said he may lose 20 to 25 percent of his Rainier cherries to wind.“We’ve had a little wind all season, but it really dumped on us (Wednesday),” he said. “So on the edges (of orchards), we’re just walking away from it (not picking).”last_img read more